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5 Minutes with Alan Pine, Pest Technician

Author: Lucy Nixon

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself Alan..

I was a junior chess prodigy, and I was 3rd best under 21 player in Hertfordshire when I was 14 years old…I used to write poetry and have had work published in different anthologies in the UK Europe and Canada

When did you start your career in the pest industry?

About 14 years ago, I worked for Ecolab under mark Sutton

 When did you join the business?

I think roughly about 8 years ago when it was then Mitie London. I followed Mark Sutton over from Ecolab who invited me to join his team

What is the best thing about working for Terminix?

I have a great team around me, and I feel supported by my Line Manager and the wider business. Terminix UK has a real family ethos and we all help each other out when needed

Is there anyone that inspires you?

I know it sounds crass but I think my mum. She was born in a mining town up north and has had to say the least not an easy life, but she cracks on through thick and thin always has a smile for everybody and has a good life ethic. I think it’s where I get my willpower and determination from.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

When I am working, I am pretty much in charge of my own day, I can start early if I need to and am not regulated to 9 till 5 days of work. To my customers I am Terminix, nobody else, everything I do is down to me and am not mostly reliant on somebody else. Although I do like being part of a team and feel lucky that the 2 teams I have mainly worked with during my time with Terminix have been really good and have had excellent support from my line managers.

What made you decide to choose a career in pest control?

I have worked in sales and marketing as a Manager and in a warehouse as an Operations Manager and got fed up with the mundane day to day stuff and red tape, and wanted to try something different. I am an outdoors type of person, and my wife was working at Ecolab at the time and suggested I try pest control, and to be honest I was really surprised how much I enjoyed doing it.

What is your favourite pest to deal with and why?

I think when I get a difficult and intelligent rat and it purely comes down to a battle of wits, you have to try to think like them and try to guess what they are going to try or do next.

What aspects of your job do you find the most interesting/rewarding?

Every day is different. Meeting different types of people every day, seeing the sheer joy and relief on customer’s faces when you have solved their particular pest problem, especially old ladies getting a positive result from a trying and difficult pest issue, sometimes it gives you a tremendous buzz when you resolve a difficult situation.

What message would you give to someone considering a career in pest control?

It’s probably not going to be anything like you imagine or have done before. Prepare to work hard in all hours it’s not a 9 till 5 job. Always try and think outside the box, and continue to learn, but most of all prepare. I have a saying I call the 5 Ps. proper preparation prevents poor performance

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Three answers to this one

  1. Aways try and do your best then nobody can c If they do it’s them and not you.
  2. Remember the 5 Ps in everything you do, proper preparation prevents poor performance
  3. Always try and find one thing to smile about every day, because then life can’t be all that

Your proudest achievement in life so far?

It’s difficult to answer this one but I think when I completed a sponsored 50 mile cycle ride for comic relief day starting and finishing at the Olympic stadium, a couple of years ago. Almost a year before I had had a mini stroke at work and had temporarily lost the use of my right arm and leg and was told that I may not walk or work again. So, I set my goal and through sheer willpower and determination, I returned to work raised money for charity and managed to surprise and prove everybody wrong. I think I shed a tear at the Olympic stadium afterwards.



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